Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus' story and imaginative level design carry the burden of its quality on their shoulders, but they're backed up by solid shooter mechanics and really cool guns. While the experience as a whole might be inconsistent and sometimes frustrating, it's an experience worth having. After all, you get to blow up a bunch of Nazis. Also, did we mention the guns were really cool?
FIFA 19 is one of the most satisfying games in the series yet. The addition of the UEFA Champions League adds some excitement to everything, even if it artificially bloats the overly long final chapter in The Journey. Subtle but meaningful tweaks to the gameplay make it both flashier and more physical than last year's edition while still retaining that good ol' fashioned FIFA feel, and the new modes and stat-tracking tools added to Kick Off are great, even if they're relegated to local play.
Hitman 2 may seem like more of a second season than a full sequel, but there’s still nothing like a Hitman game. It might not represent a massive leap forward for the series, and it might be missing some of the bells and whistles that the last game had, but it should still satiate fans of Agent 47, thanks to its more satisfying stealth and its complex, lively mission areas.
NBA Live 19 fully expands on its The One mode while adding a little more weight and momentum to its actual gameplay. While its in-game presentation and distinct style of gameplay might turn off players looking for a strict basketball sim, NBA Live 19 consistently rewards players for actually playing without trying to gouge them for more money.
ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is a literal return-to-form for the series, and longtime fans should be happy about that. While it might not be a hardcore roguelike or fully integrate its more modern design choices, it does exactly what it sets out to do: give players a true sequel to the original Genesis classic. It's hard to say how far this formula could have come in 28 years if the series hadn't taken detours into other genres, but for now I'm just happy that it's gone back to its roots.
Gears 5 makes major strides in the series' approach to storytelling. This is the most heartfelt Delta Squad has ever been, and The Coalition backs up that emotion with genuine improvements to gameplay. While its new co-op mode, Escape, is generally underwhelming, Arcade mixes up the competitive meta enough to keep things interesting. All told, Gears 5 is more Gears, but it's also a bold statement for why this series is still relevant.
Super Mario Maker 2 will please both dedicated level-builders and newcomers. Story Mode gives players a nice pu-pu platter of professionally made Mario levels, and the inclusion of 3D World’s suite of tools and moves offer even the most seasoned veterans more with which to experiment.
Between its compelling art direction, surprisingly complex strategic decisions, and inventive weaponry, there's a lot much to love in Void Bastards. Unfortunately, its overall structure and narrative will leave you feeling empty by the end. That's not to say you shouldn't let yourself enjoy all that this charming, stressful game has to offer. Just don't expect to feel totally satisfied once you escape to the right nebula.
The remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is stuck between two places—the past and the present. Chances are that you've already made up your mind about whether or not to play it. It's a classic Zelda game given a second chance with a striking visual language and evocative, haunting musical reinterpretations. Making the jump from the Game Boy to the Switch means that you'll spend a lot less time changing items in the menu and much more time appreciating the meticulous clockwork of Koholint Island's challenges.
Luigi's Mansion 3 is the biggest and best entry in a befuddling franchise, and a game that really makes a case for everyone's favorite second fiddle to get more spin-off adventures. Developer Next Level Games has expanded on the Poltergust's abilities in meaningful ways, adding more variety to the action and puzzles alike. Gooigi might seem a little shoehorned, but it's a great excuse for cooperative multiplayer on a system built for it. A few minor annoyances aside, Luigi's Mansion 3 is a strange, charming, and generous sequel.